(570a) Uniform Fluid Distribution and Blockage Diagnosis in Externally Parallelized Microreactors
AIChE Annual Meeting
Thursday, November 12, 2009 - 12:30pm to 12:55pm
Recently, micro chemical process (MCP) technology has attracted considerable attention in pharmaceutical and fine chemical fields. The main characteristic of MCPs is the small diameter of the channels ensuring short radial diffusion time. This leads to a narrow residence time distribution, high heat and mass transfers. In addition, MCPs have a high surface to volume ratio allowing efficient heat removal and high molar flux. These features can dramatically improve the yield and selectivity of products. The numbering-up approach is effective at increasing the production capacity of MCPs and opens up the possibility of a direct transfer from laboratory scale to production scale. The numbering-up means the repetition of microreactors. However, some difficulties are left behind. One of the numbering-up problems is the flow maldistribution among microreactors due to the inadequate design of MCPs. The other problem is the blockage in microreactors, and it is necessary to develop a systematic method that can detect and diagnose the blockage as early as possible without many miniaturized sensors. This work is intended to develop a new type of flow distribution unit, which can realize flow equipartition. In addition, a blockage diagnosis method that isolates the blocked microreactor from the parallel microreactors on the basis of a limited number of sensors is developed.